A man and woman smile for a photo in Ethiopia. The woman is holding a baby.

We envision Ethiopia forever free of extreme poverty

With over three decades of experience in East Africa, Village Enterprise launched operations in Ethiopia in 2023 and is working with NGOs, foundations, and government agencies to further our impact.


Map of Ethiopia


Our work in Ethiopia started in 2023 in the Kobe, Hilaweyn, and Melkadida refugee settlements in Dollo Ado. Together with our partners at Mercy Corps, we launched DREAMS, an award-winning model that combines Village Enterprise’s poverty graduation program with Mercy Corps’ expertise in market systems development. DREAMS equips refugees and host community members with the training, startup cash, business mentoring, and access to local markets so they can launch thriving businesses and ultimately put themselves and their families on a pathway out of extreme poverty. 

DREAMS in Ethiopia is funded by the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation and the IKEA Foundation. With funding from USAID, DREAMS will expand to start serving non-displaced populations living in extreme poverty in the highlands of Ethiopia.

Our Impact in Ethiopia

An Ethiopian woman writes in a notebook.


Entrepreneurs trained

Three Ethiopian women smile for a photo at their retail store.


Businesses started

A man and a woman smile for a photo.


Lives transformed

Three women stand in front of a pink wall with many goats in front of them

Arfon and Runbille’s Stories

Arfon and Runbille arrived in Ethiopia as refugees with little more than the clothes on their backs. Now, they both own multiple businesses and are able to provide for their families in ways they never could before. Read about their journeys as refugees from Somalia to women business owners in Ethiopia. 

Read their stories

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